In this generative creative nonfiction seminar, we’ll focus on a new style of essay each week: flash creative nonfiction, the personal essay, the lyrical and/or braided essay, and the hermit crab essay. The course includes weekly readings and lessons, followed by generative prompts that encourage creative, unexpected, deeply personal narratives. Each class will include a supportive, structured mini-workshop process. We’ll explore tangible editing techniques to help polish our drafts, as well as discuss both literary and freelance publications that might be a good fit for our work.
By the end of these four weeks, writers will have completed four early drafts, as well as developed a plan for moving forward with revisions for each piece. Students will participate in weekly small group workshops, and will have the opportunity to send one essay to the instructor for detailed feedback.
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features. The Zoom calls will have automated transcription enabled. Please let us know ([email protected]) if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.
Check out this page for details about payment plans and discount opportunities.
- A more fully-developed and purposeful narrative voice
- An understanding of the different styles of essays (and how to write them),
- 4 new essay drafts (!)
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
In class, students will read 3-5 pieces, discuss craft (as it relates to the readings), and write in response to several prompts. They will choose one of these responses to develop into a new essay and we will have a short amount of scheduled time to do that. They will also examine their work with a new eye for revision and discuss that process.
Outside of class, the students will finish the drafts they began (the longest will be 1200-2000 words), and they will read 2-3 other student works and give a short, scaffolded response (which will be explained in detail in class).
Week 1: Introduction to our class and creative nonfiction, including the four types of essays we’ll be writing. Prompts, readings, and discussion of the flash form and the different ways we can approach very short works of memoir. Introduction to asynchronous workshopping.
Week 2: Introduction to personal essays, both literary and freelance. Readings, prompts, and reflection on the workshopping experience and how we want to use that process, as a class, in the following weeks.
Week 3: Introduction to lyrical and braided essays. Readings, both poetry and essays, and prompts.
Week 4: Introduction to hermit crab essays. Readings, prompts, class discussion on publishing nonfiction. Students may share one revised piece with the class. Final Q&A.
Hannah Grieco is a writer, editor, and teacher in Washington, DC. She has published essays in The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, The Independent, Brevity, Huffington Post, and more. She edited the anthology "And If That Mockingbird Don't sing" for Alternating Current Press (January 2022), and she edits anthologies, novels, and prose collections for Alan Squire Publishing. Hannah teaches creative nonfiction at American University, The Writer’s Center, and Barrelhouse, and is the founder and organizer of the monthly reading series ‘Readings on the Pike.’ Find her at www.hgrieco.com and on Twitter @writesloud.
"Versatile and innovative, Hannah Grieco's writing covers the gamut in topic and genre without sacrificing excellence. Furthermore, her wit and literary acumen lend to her editorial abilities. "
"Hannah Grieco commands a phenomenal depth and range as a writer and at the same time, as an editor, purposefully supports and encourages other writers to explore their deepest and most powerful selves. In every aspect, she elevates the written word, powers the narrative force of the essay or story, and encourages us all to be better humans."
"Hannah Grieco is the real deal. Her writing retreat last November was one of the best writing and learning experiences I have ever had. Her open, honest, and detailed critique of one of my essays greatly improved the piece and I know that’s what helped me get into the Tin House 2022 Summer Workshop. She never fails to lift up and encourage other writers. "
"Professor Grieco is a wonderful instructor who cultivates a safe and enriching environment for students to explore their experiences and reimagine them as stories."
"Hannah is an incredible instructor and human. I have learned so much from her. She is knowledgeable, thoughtful, kind, and encouraging - all of the things I needed to become a better writer!"